While most reports focus on the performance of computer hardware, Bit Tech has taken a closer look at the power efficiency of components such as processors, motherboards, storage devices, RAM, power supplies, and cooling solutions. You can check out the 8-page long report over here.
In this article, we're going to be busting some myths about computers and power consumption - both our own assumptions and the superfluous claims made by manufacturers.
We're going to measure the real world differences between actual performance PCs. By measuring the power at the wall socket we have a direct readout of the immediate benefit provided by changing one component to a lower-power alternative, but it's important to combine this with the time it takes to complete a computational task - a CPU that's 1 per cent more power efficient when video encoding but that takes 50 per cent longer than its competitor isn't going to be beneficial. From these two variables (power use and time taken), we can work out the product's efficiency as a factor of power use over time. For example, if a particular product uses 50 per cent more power, but it's also twice as fast (100 per cent) at completing the task at hand, then this means its 33 per cent more efficient.
Here's a comparison of some power supplies, as you can see picking the right power supply can significantly cut power consumption by over 15 percent. The system consumed 92W in idle with the FSP Everest Pro 1200W (80Plus Bronze) unit, but only 76W with the Seasonic X-750 750W (80Plus Gold) model.